One of the things we hear often from patients is “Doctor Google says I have X / Y / Z……what do you reckon?”. Here, John Gripper, one of our physios in Wilmslow and Manchester, gives us his thoughts…….
In this day and age, with the internet and smartphones at our fingertips, the speed and ease of finding information about anything is astonishingly quick. This includes health information.
With this in mind, a common statement presented to physios across the world on a daily basis is “I’ve looked on Google and it says I have got this.”
Due to our inquisitive nature, many people will understandably Google symptoms they are experiencing or conditions they believe they have. Obviously it is possible that the information we find is up to date, accurate, and relevant to the condition or symptoms you may be presenting with.
However, it does have its downsides. First of all, the wealth of information available is quite overwhelming! There is so much content out there! If you are reading information, which is inaccurate, outdated, or not relevant to the condition or symptoms you have this may lead you up the wrong path.
One of the main issues in searching medical information online, is it can lead to unnecessary fear or anxiety. You may end up worrying that you have a more serious injury or condition than in actual fact you do. This in turn may lead to problems sleeping…… as well as engaging in the wrong treatment, rehab and overall management plan. Similarly people can underestimate their symptoms and let a condition deteriorate. A condition which, although they believed to be minor, in fact warrants early input from a physiotherapist.
In both cases, people who are proactive and get an opinion from a trained professional can help avoid these issues. Unlike Google, the therapist has the advantage of seeing the person in front of them.